Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mindset 3

In the Mindset series I reminisce about some of my favorite memories of my daughter's life when she was younger. I hope that the task of writing these entries will serve me well, and I hope too that you will enjoy going on this trip with me.

Today's journey takes us to visit normal games that people play, only they have been mutated and modified and altered to reflect the personalities involved. More to the point, kids are famous for entertaining themselves for hours with the games that they make up. Some of these games develop a set of rules that seem to change from moment to moment, depending on whether the child is winning or losing. I can almost hear the parents out there giving a knowing chuckle. One of our regular games for a few years was almost recognizable as poker. For chips we used a set of acorn tops that we had collected on our walking adventures. Our deck of cards featured the cast of the Scooby Doo gang. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo. My daughter had a number a specific, non-negotiable additions to the usual rules of poker. First, she always got to keep the "special" acorn that had the spiky top. Second, she got to keep the four queens that featured Daphne, her favorite of the gang. She used these queens like a card shark keeps aces up his sleeve, yet she kept her Daphne cards out in plain sight and had no qualms about using them as she saw fit.

Now, if you are out there saying "What's the point then?", then you probably don't have children. The whole point is to spend time with your little 'uns. Playing games like this is a time for laughter and silliness and togetherness. The sparks of the game naturally give rise to the fires of deeper conversation and deeper connection. Many a rainy day we would lay on the living room floor and play our version of poker for hours at a time. Good thing we weren't playing for money, cause those Daphne cards would have cleaned me out!